railway=rail + oneway?

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railway=rail + oneway?

Great Britain mailing list
In my upkeep of railway stations I've come across a few railway=rail
sections which are tagged as oneway=yes.

To check before I remove: Anyone know of a legitimate case where trains
can *only* travel in one direction? Most of the national network have
double direction signals to allow them to use the right hand track.
Some of the examples I've found end midway along a linear track with no
junction & even a couple of buffered ends.

DaveF

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Re: railway=rail + oneway?

Gareth L
I’m sure there are more expert people than I on this, but I don’t think bi directional signals are as common as thought.
Local to me on the WCML, it has much larger signalling blocks when operated in reverse - so the operational benefit is not having to stop for authorisation to continue from the signaller, but still reduced capacity ... oneway=reversible *might* make more sense than removing it outright?

Trap points strike me as a legitimate one way system enforcement?

Hopefully a permanent way engineer reads the mailing list.

Gareth


> On 15 Jan 2021, at 04:52, Dave F via Talk-GB <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> In my upkeep of railway stations I've come across a few railway=rail sections which are tagged as oneway=yes.
>
> To check before I remove: Anyone know of a legitimate case where trains can *only* travel in one direction? Most of the national network have double direction signals to allow them to use the right hand track.
> Some of the examples I've found end midway along a linear track with no junction & even a couple of buffered ends.
>
> DaveF
>
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Re: railway=rail + oneway?

Martin Wynne-2
Most double-track railways are not signalled for bi-directional running.
There are separate Up and Down lines. Up is towards London, Down is away
from London (or the principal junction). Trains normally travel on the left.

In emergency or during engineering work, trains can switch to the other
line in what is called "Wrong Road Working". This involves special
signalling arrangements, often using a single human "pilotman" for each
length, travelling on every train. The principle being that he can't
have a head-on collision with himself. That's a massive simplification,
but is still the basic principle. The process is time-consuming and
reduces line capacity significantly.

There are almost no lines where it is physically impossible to run the
wrong way. Sometimes points have to be physically clamped with padlocks
to prevent derailments when run over in the wrong direction.

Single-track railways are obviously signalled for two-way running.

Sometimes two lines running side-by-side look like a double track
railway but are actually two single-track lines, which separate at some
point. An example of that are the lines through Worcester Foregate
Street station and over the river bridge. In that case there are usually
warning signs for the staff, see on the right in this photo "CAUTION
TWO-WAY WORKING ON BOTH LINES":

 
https://85a.uk/templot/club/index.php?attachments/foregate_st_1280_rp-jpg.6/ 


Martin.

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Re: railway=rail + oneway?

Mark Goodge
In reply to this post by Great Britain mailing list


On 15/01/2021 04:51, Dave F via Talk-GB wrote:
> In my upkeep of railway stations I've come across a few railway=rail
> sections which are tagged as oneway=yes.
>
> To check before I remove: Anyone know of a legitimate case where trains
> can *only* travel in one direction? Most of the national network have
> double direction signals to allow them to use the right hand track.
> Some of the examples I've found end midway along a linear track with no
> junction & even a couple of buffered ends.

My personal opinion is that this tag doesn't belong on railway tracks.
The reason we have it on roads is because it's the sort of thing that
road users need to know from a map (and the sort of thing that routing
software needs to know). But rail users don't need to know it, unless
they are train drivers, in which case they will already know it as it's
a key part of their route knowledge.

Also, railways don't have the equivalent of highway legislation that
creates legal restrictions on their use (eg, "no entry" signs and one
way streets). It's up to the railway networks how they want to use their
tracks. Although most double-track main lines are one direction each
side, not all are, and there's no easy way to tell the difference just
by looking at them. And even those which are, can be used in the "wrong"
direction when necessary.

The wiki appears to support this position. It specifically refers to
tagging legal restrictions on the use of highways by vehicles (or, as a
special case, similar restrictions imposed on publicly accessible
navigable waterways). Railway tracks are not highways, and trains are
not vehicles in the highway sense.

I would, therefore, simply be inclined to delete any such tags applied
to railway tracks.

Mark

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Re: railway=rail + oneway?

David Woolley
In reply to this post by Great Britain mailing list
On 15/01/2021 04:51, Dave F via Talk-GB wrote:
>
> To check before I remove: Anyone know of a legitimate case where trains
> can *only* travel in one direction?

My understanding is that some points are unpowered an only designed to
be approached from the top of the Y.

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Re: railway=rail + oneway?

Martin Wynne-2
In reply to this post by Mark Goodge
On 15/01/2021 10:06, Mark Goodge wrote:

> My personal opinion is that this tag doesn't belong on railway tracks.
> ... ... rail users don't need to know it

It is useful information for the general public in some circumstances.
For example at an unstaffed wayside station knowing which platform to
use (although this is usually well-signed).

A significant difference from roads is that for double-track, oneway=yes
is the normal condition, not an exception.

For railways the tagging would be better defined as bidirectional=yes
where applicable.

Martin.

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Re: railway=rail + oneway?

David Woolley
In reply to this post by Mark Goodge
On 15/01/2021 10:06, Mark Goodge wrote:
> My personal opinion is that this tag doesn't belong on railway tracks.
> The reason we have it on roads is because it's the sort of thing that
> road users need to know from a map (and the sort of thing that routing
> software needs to know). But rail users don't need to know it, unless
> they are train drivers, in which case they will already know it as it's
> a key part of their route knowledge.


I think you are taking a general public consumer view of the map. The
main value of maps is often for planners, and researchers, not for
travellers.

Whilst rail planners will already have more detailed maps, and other
planners might occasionally benefit from the information, but the other
big factor is that a great deal of information goes on OSM because
people are enthusiastic about particular subjects, for which maps may
exist, but are not generally published, e.g. people collect information
on sewers networks.

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Re: railway=rail + oneway?

Martin Wynne-2
In reply to this post by David Woolley
On 15/01/2021 10:33, David Woolley wrote:

> My understanding is that some points are unpowered an only designed to
> be approached from the top of the Y.

Such spring points are sometimes used for passing loops on single-track
railways.

There is a mechanism on them to lock them in the wrong position when
it's necessary for them to be used in the wrong direction.

An important distinction in railway work is between passenger and
non-passenger working. Some moves which are permissible when trains are
empty are not allowed when carrying passengers.

I remember an occasion during some out-of-normal working where we were
all turfed off a train while it was moved to a different platform, while
we all walked over the footbridge and then got back on it. The guard was
very apologetic, and explained that it was necessary because it would be
running over some unclamped points, which is not allowed while carrying
passengers.

Freight trains have a different set of rules for signalling, and
sometimes dedicated tracks which are not signalled for passenger use.

How all this information could be shown on a map is not clear.

Martin.

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Re: railway=rail + oneway?

Great Britain mailing list


On Fri, Jan 15, 2021 at 11:14 AM Martin Wynne <[hidden email]> wrote:
An important distinction in railway work is between passenger and
non-passenger working. Some moves which are permissible when trains are
empty are not allowed when carrying passengers.

...

Freight trains have a different set of rules for signalling, and
sometimes dedicated tracks which are not signalled for passenger use.

How all this information could be shown on a map is not clear.

 Presumably a tag on the switch node or rail way would be sufficient? Perhaps an access tag e.g. train:passenger=no?

Then if a track is oneway for passenger traffic but bidirectional for freight, oneway:train:passenger=yes, oneway:train:freight=no, or train:passenger:backward=no, train:freight:backward=yes?

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Re: railway=rail + oneway?

Mark Goodge
In reply to this post by David Woolley


On 15/01/2021 10:41, David Woolley wrote:

>
> I think you are taking a general public consumer view of the map. The
> main value of maps is often for planners, and researchers, not for
> travellers.
>
> Whilst rail planners will already have more detailed maps, and other
> planners might occasionally benefit from the information, but the other
> big factor is that a great deal of information goes on OSM because
> people are enthusiastic about particular subjects, for which maps may
> exist, but are not generally published, e.g. people collect information
> on sewers networks.

Where are we going to get the information from, though? It's not
something you can reliably tell just by looking at the track. And even
where you can tell, the track often isn't accessible to the general
public. So it's not amenable to on-the-ground mapping.

On the other hand, unlike a road dual carriageway, you can't assume that
a double track railway line is a matched pair of single-direction
routes, because there are a lot of places where it isn't. So it's not
amenable to armchair mapping either - there's no way at all to infer the
data from the aerial imagery.

The only reliable, complete source of such information is Network Rail's
own data. But unless that's published under a compatible licence, we
can't derive data from it.

So all we're left with is a few, isolated instances where someone with
the relevant local knowledge updates the map. But that's not
sustainable, or even particularly useful. And some of the examples
mentioned by Dave F at the start of this thread are clearly erroneous -
it's logically impossible for a terminus track to be one-way.

So, while this might be something that some rail enthusiasts might like
to put into OSM, I really don't think that OSM is an appropriate
repository for it.

Mark

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Re: railway=rail + oneway?

David Woolley
On 15/01/2021 13:14, Mark Goodge wrote:
> Where are we going to get the information from, though? It's not
> something you can reliably tell just by looking at the track. And even
> where you can tell, the track often isn't accessible to the general
> public. So it's not amenable to on-the-ground mapping.

Unfortunately, enthusiasts often think getting their favourite
information on the map is more important than respecting database
rights, so it wouldn't surprise me of a lot of this information is from
unsafe sources.

(More generally, I suspect there are probably rather a lot of imports
from Google Maps and Google Street View, in the UK part of OSMm as well
as other sources (one I came across recently was a photograph in a blog).)

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Re: railway=rail + oneway?

Martin Wynne-2
In reply to this post by Mark Goodge
On 15/01/2021 13:14, Mark Goodge wrote:

>
> Where are we going to get the information from, though? It's not
> something you can reliably tell just by looking at the track. And even
> where you can tell, the track often isn't accessible to the general
> public. So it's not amenable to on-the-ground mapping.

If there are fixed signals, you can tell on the ground by looking at the
layout of the signals. But some lines use radio-signalling with no fixed
signals.

> it's logically impossible for a terminus track to be one-way.

It depends what you mean by one-way. Some long-distance terminal
platforms are for arrivals only. So in effect the track is one-way as
far as passengers are concerned. After they have all got off, the empty
train is quickly moved to the sidings for cleaning/preparation for its
next journey, leaving the platform clear for the next arrival. Sometimes
this applies for only part of the working day.

> So, while this might be something that some rail enthusiasts might like
> to put into OSM, I really don't think that OSM is an appropriate
> repository for it.

But OSM has lots of stuff that serves little purpose for the general
public (the location of broadband cabinets?), or is difficult to
establish on the ground (the voltage of overhead power lines?). But it's
useful information if someone needs to know.

Martin.

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Re: railway=rail + oneway?

Tony OSM
In reply to this post by Mark Goodge
The information for railway routes and track usage is publicly available
and suitable for OSM - there is a lot of it.

see Sectional Appendix - https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/UKRail_Project

I have downloaded the SA for NorthWest England West Coast Mainline -
Crewe to Preston - it is about 1000 pages and has track diagrams showing
the route and junctions and the type of signalling and the rules for
drivers.

Most of England, Wales & Scotland is signalled for left-side running on
double lines except for God's Wonderful Railway (GWR) (Western Region)
which is predominantly signalled for right side running.

Tony

On 15/01/2021 13:14, Mark Goodge wrote:

>
>
> On 15/01/2021 10:41, David Woolley wrote:
>>
>> I think you are taking a general public consumer view of the map. The
>> main value of maps is often for planners, and researchers, not for
>> travellers.
>>
>> Whilst rail planners will already have more detailed maps, and other
>> planners might occasionally benefit from the information, but the
>> other big factor is that a great deal of information goes on OSM
>> because people are enthusiastic about particular subjects, for which
>> maps may exist, but are not generally published, e.g. people collect
>> information on sewers networks.
>
> Where are we going to get the information from, though? It's not
> something you can reliably tell just by looking at the track. And even
> where you can tell, the track often isn't accessible to the general
> public. So it's not amenable to on-the-ground mapping.
>
> On the other hand, unlike a road dual carriageway, you can't assume
> that a double track railway line is a matched pair of single-direction
> routes, because there are a lot of places where it isn't. So it's not
> amenable to armchair mapping either - there's no way at all to infer
> the data from the aerial imagery.
>
> The only reliable, complete source of such information is Network
> Rail's own data. But unless that's published under a compatible
> licence, we can't derive data from it.
>
> So all we're left with is a few, isolated instances where someone with
> the relevant local knowledge updates the map. But that's not
> sustainable, or even particularly useful. And some of the examples
> mentioned by Dave F at the start of this thread are clearly erroneous
> - it's logically impossible for a terminus track to be one-way.
>
> So, while this might be something that some rail enthusiasts might
> like to put into OSM, I really don't think that OSM is an appropriate
> repository for it.
>
> Mark
>
> _______________________________________________
> Talk-GB mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/talk-gb

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